Follow-up “Bring the troops home”

    I was pleased to read today that Mr Hammond now tells us he can bring more troops home early, and have fewer UK troops on patrol in Afghanistan. As readers of my previous post will know, the sooner the better as far as I am concerned.

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60 Comments

  1. johnny come lately
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Yet the military are still sending our men out to ‘hold ground’ which is the nonsensical, first world war tactics of sending men out where they are in great danger of IED’s and snipers. Only to go back to their compound and start all over again the next day. A futile exercise which results in loss of life.

    I am absolutely convinced that Sandhurst should be scrapped and a real review, involving the NCO’s. They are more aware of the problems of modern day warfare than the officers.

    Watching the film The Charge of the Light Brigade the other day on television, I was struck on how little the army had learnt from then till now. Time for tactics to change, especially the rules of warfare. Why our men are having their arms tied behind their backs when fighting a war is a disgrace.

    As for todays announcement. It will make it far more dangerous for those left on the ground. ONE OUT ALL OUT is my view.

    • Single Acts
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Whilst I broadly agree with the sentiments, the news that there are to be fewer targets in theatre may have saved some lives.

      I will take this opportunity to thank out blog host for the parliamentary pressure and hope he takes comfort from the fact that he has achieved a genuinely good thing.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Having worked with UK military officers a lot recently I must confess I think the general standards are appauling.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      The problem isn’t with Sandhurst, it is with the politicians and civil servants. If a soldier sights a bearded man with a turban carrying a rifle, he can’t fire at him until the bearded man with the turban fires first. Who’s idiotic rule is that? Similarly with the way IEDs are dealt with. Painstakingly defused by hand when they should just send an armoured vehicle along with a flail.

      Still, I agree with your last sentence. We should leave now, taking everyone with us (civil servants etc), destroying any equipment we can’t remove and stopping all aid.

      Reply If you go into someone else’s country to help them police it, you should not assume that all people dressed in a certain way with guns are going to use them for illegal purposes.

      • backofanenvelope
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        OK. You see a man with a rifle. You politely ask him to put it down and put his hands up. He gives you the finger and walks away. He gets behind a pile of stones and shoots you.

        Reply Indeed, the rules of engagement are very tough on our troops, which is why I have been saying they should not be sent there to be put in that position.

        • forthurst
          Posted September 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          Believing that changing the rules of engagement when engaged in a phony ‘War on Terror’ will allow us to achieve ‘success’ is a delusion. Our enemies are much closer to home than Afghanistan. They are the ones who have put our troops in harms’ way based upon falsehoods and have kept them there.

        • Single Acts
          Posted September 14, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          Without wishing to impune anyone, were I commanding a detachment*, I would agree with the sargeant-major that we both thought we were ‘under fire’ and open up. No suggestion whatsoever is intended that anyone carries out this practice nor has ever done so.

          (*mercifully impossible)

      • Robert Taggart
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        The problem be with the ‘Great’ British establishment…
        For they have still not come to terms with the ‘setting of the sun’ upon the empire !

      • Disaffected
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Based on history, it is a prospect.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 15, 2012 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        Is this the way bomb disposal works in the UK? If a WW2 or terrorist bomb is found next to your house should we do the same? I think we should.

      • Gary
        Posted September 15, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        “Reply If you go into someone
        else’s country to help them
        police it, you should not
        assume that all people
        dressed in a certain way with
        guns are going to use them
        for illegal purposes.”

        Thankfully a civilized voice of reason amidst this sea of keyboard barbarians.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      I don’t see how the Charge of the Light Brigade is in any way relevant to modern warfare. The light brigade charged at a row of cannons in front of them, while being fired at by cannons on both sides of them. The charge was successful as they managed to overrun the cannons in front of them but were beaten back by the Cossacks guarding the cannons. It’s even possible that the charge would have been successful if the heavy brigade had followed the plan and accompanied the light brigade, rather than standing around doing nothing.

      I think the only lessons that can be learned from the Charge of the Light Brigade are don’t allow officers to buy promotions and make sure the officers in charge of the various brigades don’t hate each other (Cardigan of the light brigade and Lucan of the Heavy brigade hated each other).

      • Bazman
        Posted September 15, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        The charge would have seen more casualties had the Russians not thought it might be some great devious ploy by the British and hesitated in opening fire…

      • outsider
        Posted September 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        A good point well made.

      • Andrew Johnson
        Posted September 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Have you read the book “The Reason Why” by Cecil Woodham-Smith ? I think you will find that the charge of the Light Brigade and the reasons for it are very relevant to the situation the British armed forces have found themselves in over the past decades.
        I agree completely with John Redwood, bring our troops home PDQ .

  2. lifelogic
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Indeed the sooner the better. It has clearly been an appalling, predictable and counter productive disaster and a pointless waste of lives by politicians.

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Soldiers did not receive a 5.2% pay rise like welfare lifers got this year, including those from the EU and outside the EU who have never paid a penny into the UK tax pot. Clegg forced this through and Cameron let him. It is reported a £2.2 billion black hole has emerged…HHmmm Lib Dem economics the UK the land of welfare and NHS free. Hardly the opening theme for the olympics to celebrate- taxpayers’ are fed up being squeezed!!!! It is almost like an advertising campaign to increase the mass immigration programme of the current government. Possibly Damian Green’s greatest achievement over the past two and half years.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Totally right.

  4. Caratacus
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Well that’s a relief. The British Government can withdraw its military personnel, confident in the knowledge that its original aim to bring democracy, law and order to the people of Afghanistan has been a resounding and unqualified success.

    Perhaps these undervalued but highly competent personnel may be deployed to a sphere of activity in which their talents will be put to better use. Surrounding the House of Commons at rifle point until the majority of its insufferable ne’er-do-wells see sense is one example. But that proposal is not a serious one, of course … more a sad example of my poor sense of humour!

  5. Acorn
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I have noticed JR, you frequently use a phrase like “I was pleased to read today that … “, from which I assume you don’t have anymore idea of what the Cabinet is doing than I do. Even as a senior backbencher.

    This gives me an opportunity to reprise one of my favourites. Would it be better to have the “Executive” outside of the “Legislature”, that is not sitting on the green and red benches. Would it not help MPs to be less like lobby fodder and scrutinise primary and secondary legislation with a more systematic and analytical approach?

    Reply: Parliament is meant to hear first of changes to the government’s approach. There are endless exchanges between colleagues, both in the Chamber and in private conversations. On this occasion this announcement was not made to Parliament first. Many of us have been urging Ministers to move in this direction for some time.

    • Alan
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      I think the problem of separating the executive from the legislature is that you can end up with the sort of impasse that the USA is experiencing over its financial problems: the two sides cannot come to an agreement and the problem is not resolved since neither can over-rule the other. In the UK if the executive does not have the confidence of the legislature it is forced out of office and the problem does get resolved.

      But I am very sympathetic to Mr Redwood’s point that all major policy changes should be announced to the House of Commons first. If the Commons is in session it is surely discourteous for a minister to announce policies to the newspapers before the Commons. If the Commons is not in session, then one has to ask why it is not in session when important announcements are being made. I think the holidays are too long. Having said that I must admit I am doubtful whether modifying the rate at which troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan is an important policy change. You could argue that is just a detail of a policy that has already been announced.

  6. Sue
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    All these “Arab” countries do not want our help. I can’t understand why we think we have the authority to just invade them in the name of “democracy”. Ironic really, isn’t it? The British Government and the EU preach democracy all over the world, yet we don’t actually have it ourselves.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Afghanistan isn’t an Arab country. Did you mean Muslim country?

      The Arabs countries are mostly in the Saudi peninsula, North Africa, Levant, and Iraq. As Arabs are an ethnic group they can be any religion, including Christianity.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Christian

      • Sue
        Posted September 15, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        I wasn’t going to sit here and list the multitude of countries that we have no business in. They are predominantly Arab and African countries. No, I did not mean a Muslim country, although most of them seem to be Muslim. We just make things worse for the people.

    • Steven_L
      Posted September 15, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      All these “Arab” countries do not want our help

      but our oil is under their sand

  7. Single Acts
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Small rule of thumb contributors may find useful.

    Be it Afghanistan, Iraq, the EU, the ill-fated ERM, baliouts to the PIIGS or a dozen other things, whenever the front benches of the major parties agree on something, you can be reasonably sure it’s a disaster in the offing.

    • outsider
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      How true, Single Acts.One need look no further than the Defamation Bill passed by consensus in the Commons this week, a fairly transparent measure to protect the broad elite at the expense of the rest of us.

  8. Electro-Kevin
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Can you imagine the intense and unrelenting pressure of being at the head of a patrol with a mine detector in hand ?

    Having to look for limb-shredding IEDs whilst knowing that you are the one most likely to be in the sniper’s sights and his high impact bullets ? You’ve been shown the unexpurgated pictures and videos during your training – possibly tended to your mate’s gruesome injuries already.

    A ‘lowly’ sapper in a dust bowl – wife and kids kept in damp and bleak housing – with no real future in Britain once your stint in the army has finished.

    None of this is to say that we shouldn’t put our troops in danger. But we should know what we’re asking of them when we do.

    The casualty rate was, in fact, higher in Northern Ireland but at least there was a real and direct issue of national interest at stake. It was not one of politics and sidling up to another power – the Americans. We wouldn’t be in Afghanistan without the U.S. and Bin Laden was found in Pakistan where he’d been living for years.

    What soldiers fear most, in fact, is the loss of close friends, gross disfigurement, excruciating pain and life long incapacity – worst of all they live in fear of emasculation and the Taliban have adapted their IEDs to play on this particular fear. All of these are a fate which is worse than a quick death.

    Am saying that I want our politicians to grow soft on war ? No. The reverse in fact. I wish they would grow some balls and bring our troops back home from this pointless (and hopeless) deployment.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      “…and Bin Laden was found in Pakistan where he’d been living for years.”

      The problem is that we have no way of verifying anything that has been reported about bin Laden from his alleged association with 9/11 (he was not ‘wanted’ by the FBI for that false flag event) until this year. In fact, there could hardly have been less objectively verifiable information in the public domain if the whole thing had been a fairy tale concocted in Langley, VA.

      • Steven_L
        Posted September 15, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

        Why believe the governments about defence and foreign policy (where they are more likely to lie) when you can’t believe them about anything else? I take the ‘Bin Laden shot dead in Pakistan’ story with a pinch of salt – just like the ‘Andy McNab’ Gulf War 1 story. Servicemen can’t legally write books about these things without government permission – it’s propaganda.

  9. Phil P
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Well this is good news lets hurry the job not get it done correctly and as soon as we get more of our boys and girls home the sooner we can lay them off to save money to give away to foriegn aid instead of using our Minstary of Defense to defened our home land, which sometimes means defending for a far. I am a soldier so my views are personal but it stands we have served our perpose so now we can get lost end up on the streets with no support from our Gov but hey thanks, next time you need some help showing the muscles you dont have as a gov and where your lies and lack of manhood becomes apparent feel free to call on us again but remeber we do what we do for Queen Country and our Families so when the time comes remeber who you stand on today not a stab at yourself Mr JR just an angry soldier that really feels our Gov is failing OUR country in every way possible and to force the job in afgan to end early is not what i feel is a priority but i voted for this Gov due to best of a bad bunch so here is the price i pay thought if anyone could it was this Gov but clearly we have no Men with pride or Manhood in this Gov to do what needs to be done for US

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Phil – Much respect to you and your colleagues. More than you could know in fact.

      War is not meant to be a job creation scheme.

      In my view we shouldn’t be cutting back on our armed forces and I agree wholeheartedly with you – there are many areas where we should be doing that instead. This is regardless of whether or not our people are in Afghanistan. That the cut-backs are taking place are symptomatic of all that is wrong with Britain.

      Our people do NOT come first.

      If I were a religious man I’d bid you ‘God speed’ right now. Perhaps if I were in your position I would be spending so much of my time in prayer that I wouldn’t be much use as a soldier.

      Thank you for having the guts to do what you do.

      • Phil P
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Kevin Thank you for your kind words
        After alomost 11 years service i do spend much of my time in pray but very little of that is prayer for my self more for others.
        I argree the MOD cuts are not the only unjustice we as a people are facing right now the biggest being lead by a Gov that is not doing which it laid out to do and is swarn to do protect the intrest of our country and its people for years we have preached
        to other to follow a life of democracy yet we as a nation live under a dictatorship at what point do we have our say every election is our only chance to voice our “FREE SPEACH” (that’s a joke) but we can only voice it by chosing the best of the bad bunch we have. My biggest fear is our Gov will not accept the fact its time to as we say “MAN UP” things are going to get alot worse ALOT im not going to detail on here as its not the place but if these are the great minds they like to see them selves as they should be able to see it my fear is what state will our country be left Im at heart a Royalist mainly as what use is a broken country to a monarch none but to a PM or Gov they dont care as long as they get there pay day in all that has gone wrong so far please point out to me anyone person that has been brought to justice in there wrong doing not one banker has walked away without a fat pocket not one minister has left without being set for life with the money he stole or without walking straight into a job but thats our justice system all over jail the guy whom trys to protect his family and life but set free early the scum of this country the harm are weak or children or better still dont punish those whom steal from our country Mr JR when i moved to your constituency i read into you to see who was going to represent me and my family and still to this day i have no fault with you some things i might not argree but thats fine im sure it would work vice verse but in my time here my faith in any of our Gov had gone our country is not in our control in any way shape or form Anarchy is only around the corner things have to change soon

        • Steven_L
          Posted September 15, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

          Im at heart a Royalist mainly

          Really? You signed up to go abroad and (tAke military action-ed) because you’re into the Queen and her strange brood? More fool you.

          • Phil P
            Posted September 17, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

            No i signed up for a life time job doing what most weak people cant while the take advantage of the fact we do i serve Queen and country Yes im a royalist please do tell me what has any recent gov brought to this country that has mad the better hmm im the fool what ever helps yous sleep

      • Richard
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Electro-Kevin,
        Thanks for your excellent post to Phil P, I agree with everything you say.
        Defence of this Realm is the number one priority of our Government and they should give their total support of the wonderful brave people like Phil who keep us safe.
        Phil , you and your mates are, and always will be heroes.

        • Phil P
          Posted September 17, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          Sorry for late reply i missed this post due to a troll.
          Thank you so much reading your words reminds me of the faces i will not see again untill me time of passing and fills me full of pride to have known those heros that have left us all behind, They have done so with the thought that what we are doing is right to project our people away from home but as others have said whille what we doing away from home is right and just we need our gov to direct so protection towards home.
          Again thank you And Mr JR and all those that support our Forces in any way.

  10. Mark
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    With distressing regularity in recent years I have seen fine young men of military bearing minus a limb or two in our streets. I no longer live close to the now shut Star and Garter Home that housed the wounded military from wars going back to WW I (I recall the funeral of the last WW I survivor there, and knew a number of the staff and also met perhaps its most famous inmate in recent times – Simon Weston) – so it is all the more distressing, knowing that those limbs have been lost in this futile gesture of a war.

    A silver lining is that the operational budget – i.e. extra spending on expendables such as fuel and ammunition – will also reduce. I don’t know that that amounts to currently, but in 2008/9 it was £2.6bn in respect of Afghanistan and £2bn in respect of Iraq. These cuts should have priority over some of the other cuts already imposed on defence. We are dangerously low in capability already.

  11. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I suspect that Mr Hammond’s motives may be mainly financial. However, as Enoch Powell used to say: “I will take support wherever I may find it.” It’s good news.

  12. Robert Taggart
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    “The sooner the better” – here, here, here.
    But…
    Why stop at Afghanistan ? Blighty should remove its remaining overseas burdens from its shoulders too – Cyprus, Germany, Kosovo… as for the Falklands – eventually ?!

  13. Phil P
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr JR i would like to know why one of my posts was not posted was nothing of harm just a reply with a view please do not tell me that your office also is into blocking free speech i could if my post was offensive, rude, racist, sexist, or any other (ist) you can think of but it was not so please do tell as to why it was not posted please post this as i would not like to have to change my opinion of your office which represents yourself Many thanks Phil P

    Reply: I do not seek to block free speech. Personal attacks, complex links to other sites,or unsubstantiated allegations can delay posting.

    • Phil P
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      No personal attack complex link or any allegation was made was my view and nothing more there was no reason what so ever for it to be blocked as be my other post a reply to a comment towards me on this very thread stated all i wanted to say which has been posted fine

      • Steven_L
        Posted September 16, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

        Ever heard of ‘full stops’?

        • Phil P
          Posted September 17, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

          Lol who is the fool now nothing better to do yes and use them when i wish being from south london as a boy even now i talk very fast to the point and i type the same way but while others take action you sit a worry about grammar and punctuation.

    • zorro
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Phil, JR moderates himself so that is why the delay sometimes in posting (happens to most of us)…..alas, work is the curse of the blogging classes!

      zorro

      • Robert Taggart
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        “work is the curse…” – not for all us bloggers !

  14. Steven Whitfield
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Good call Mr Redwood.

  15. zorro
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if there will be any enquiry into the conduct and aims of this Afghanistan operation, bearing in mind the cost and extended timescale compared to what was stated in 2006….?

    zorro

  16. peter davies
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your support in this issue Mr Redwood. The reality is that to police somewhere like Afghan would need an overall NATO force at least 10 times the size it is plus a way of control the supply lines from places like Pakistan which feed the Taliban.

    Whilst on the subject of defence and as Phil P has alluded to the first duty of any govt is Defence. Cutting back like they plan due to financial reasons when

    1. we live in a dangerous world and never know whats around the corner
    2. there is a huge myriad of less important things the UK blows money on that should be cut back instead
    3. given the noise Cameron made about defence

    It seems absurd they are planning on something so drastic as this.

    If gov’t don’t have the guts to look at other things deeper then rather than simply disband historic battalations then why not consider keeping a single regular operational company/squadron in each of the units selected and augment the rest with TA so you retain the capability of converting the augmented TA companies/squadrons back into regular service at short notice if required?

    • Phil P
      Posted September 15, 2012 at 5:27 am | Permalink

      Maybe just maybe our Gov has placed our defense at the bottom of its priority list the support and good will toward the armed forces was nothing more then to gain votes by using something that was deeply in the public eyes at the time.
      It is the Mod Civilians that are making the cuts forced by the Gov’s reduction of the MOD budget fight this war here and there but now you have spent to much money the public back our need for better kit so we get the extra money now we are paying for it with our lives governments have slowly and each in turn destroy many parts of our country and now its the turn of the H M Forces which will never be the same again from the bottom of my heart i feel betrayed by those i serve as do most that are in the same position is something you cannot take back many soldiers are being forced out of the army only to learn that we are still giving millions away which is a nice thing to do when the situation allows, to learn that once we have been fired from what should be the most secure job there is (providing you live) that we will have to take our family’s and live in a hostel because there is no homes given to the unnecessary at a cost to us and every other tax payer,
      to learn there is no jobs for us because they are given to outsiders first.
      so again where do you see defense as a priority to our Gov the soldiers you sack today will be needed again tomorrow but will they heed your call.
      P.s no disrespect meant as i have seen first hand the hard work the TA do but you can not have a defense army made up of a large % part time soldiers this will not work you need the experience and lessons learned by soldier that do this for bread and but you would not as a part time cashier to run a bank having the understanding of money is not enough it needs to be a life choice that is to spend every waking moment a soldier.
      but as i said early this is just one issue but clearly close to my heart Mr JR at no point do i mean any disrespect to you or taking shots i just be-leave that our Gov’s biggest problem is over complicating things oh and caring what others think i.e not British which just isn’t British is it

  17. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I believe I read somewhere that our entire armed forces consisting of all military personnel has been reduced to a number that can be accommodated within the boundaries of Wembley Stadium.

    Can this actually be true?

    • Steven_L
      Posted September 16, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

      Even if it is true, what’s wrong with that? We’re an Island armed with decent planes, subs, bombs and missiles.

  18. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Yes -bring ’em home.

    Defence is supposed to be about defending OUR borders – here , at home.

    How many more families have to receive that sickening letter in the post or call at the door to notify them that their son, daughter, husband or wife is the latest casualty in this so called ‘War on Terror’?

    How many more families are to be told that their family member is alive but is seriously wounded?

    How would we like it if foreign troops marched down our streets? Patrolled our Countryside in the name of protecting us? This is our Country – not theirs. Is this how the Afghan and Iraqis felt? British troops were regarded in a slightly better light than our American Allies. British Commanders negotiated with the locals and got some support that way, the American method resorted to stronger defences, more fences and more machine gun posts, more aggression, and more heavy handed “do as we tell you” tactics. which naturally alienated the people they proported to help.

    How many more times?

    Next is Syria then Iran. All funded through Treasury Bonds.

    • Steven_L
      Posted September 16, 2012 at 12:09 am | Permalink

      If we don’t get them Russia will.

      • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
        Posted September 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Russia learned an important lesson in Afghanistan, invasions do not help the invader or invaded.

        America – one would have thought, should have learnt that lesson in Vietnam in the 1970s. The French also learnt that lesson – in the same Country; in the 1950s.

        Foreign Policy is insanity itself, repeating the same experiment over and over again expecting a differnet result each time but getting the same result – failure.

        American aggression towards countries such as: Syria, Iran, Venezuela and North Korea, will strenghen Russian and Chinese Military exports. Iran saw what the Americans did in Iraq, Iran also supplies Oil to Russia and China so can easily afford to buy Heavy Military Weapons from them.

        The more someone pokes a stick in your chest the more chance there is that you will grab that stick away from them and crack them over the head with it.

        There is no evidence that Iran is or has produced a Nuclear Weapon, but there’s more chance of it now, thanks to American Foreign Policy and the poodle like way William Hague trails along behind on a lead. It(anti Hague sentence removed-ed)

  19. AlexW
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    It seems that the military strategy to secure the populace from the Taliban/AQ has allowed government to establish itself, although this outstanding achievement of arms and doctrine must be heavily qualified by the time taken and costs borne.

    Although I feel deeply proud of the British men and women who have stagged on through such an awful campaign to allow this outcome, I am very angry that our political leaders failed them for so long and that we (all of us) didn’t do enough to challenge this failure in our domestic political debate.

    We left our forces to stand and fight this war undermanned and so consequently without a viable strategy: we sent a batallion where we needed a brigade, a brigade where we needed a division, a division where we neede a corps.

    We have allowed our allies and enemies alike to conclude that Britain no longer has the political or military leadership required for modern war: we have allowed and accepted a slide in the capability of our military, content to be a distant second behind a vigorous and determined America. I’m an ex-Rifleman and God it hurts to write that.

    We have allowed politicians who left our forces to face the enemy with serious shortcomings in kit and support (body armour, APCs, the air bridge, tactical air, helicopter lift, coms and so on and bloody on) to remain in public life. We let our government mouth platitudes about how proud they all felt of our troops while they cut batallions, axed squadrons and demoralised the service. How utterly shameful.

    Mr Redwood you have (as ever) done your duty to our country in Parliament, thank you, thank you.

  20. Monty
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Why not bring them all back home starting right now?

    I think the public have the wisdom to understand that our problem with islamic terrorists is not “over there”, but right here at home. It always was. Now we have British troops trying to protect Afghan schoolchildren against Afghan terrorists.

    We have no-one protecting British schoolchildren against attacks by British islamic terrorists.

  21. Bazman
    Posted September 15, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    The western world has either got to take them to pieces militarily or just get out. Every decade sees the west and Russia in many cases getting semi involved in some conflict and at massive human and financial cost for no gains and often adding to the problem by assuming that they all want to live by a western model and if any of these nationalities here love these countries so much they can all go and live there and enjoy the benefits. This idea that they will export terror abroad is not real. Lets face it are they going to kill any more than the past conflicts have and as for changing anything how far has America got with Saudi Arabia?

  22. David Langley
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the support John for our troops out. I understand that 20 died in the attack on Camp Bastion in the past 24 hours. 2 US Mnes and 18 Taliban. The facts seem to be that the largest and easiest target to hit in Afghanistan has indeed taken a knock. I am surprised that this happened at all as a strenuous patrolling 24/7 activity would be needed to ensure the perimeter of this camp was safe from most direct attacks. Clearly this is not the case and now we must consider how to protect ourselves from further incursions. I suspect most troops going to Afghanistan are now convinced that the main and sole achievement will be in coming back with ones mates in one piece.
    From news reports some aircraft were damaged as well. We desperately need 100% integrity of security on our airfields however small. The withdrawal from this area is going to be a real nightmare.

  23. Phil P
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I’m reading and enjoy the thoughts of most on here and agree with many.
    I must back track a little John thank you for your support for the armed forces and yes i would love to see all our troops come home, just not to the disappointment that we all face.
    I agree with many on here that now it is time for our Armed Forces help to protect our homeland.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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